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Slow life-history strategies are associated with negligible actuarial senescence in western Palaearctic salamanders


Cayuela, Hugo; Olgun, Kurtuluş; Angelini, Claudio; Üzüm, Nazan; Peyronel, Olivier; Miaud, Claude; Avcı, Aziz; Lemaitre, Jean-François; Schmidt, Benedikt R (2019). Slow life-history strategies are associated with negligible actuarial senescence in western Palaearctic salamanders. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 286(1909):20191498.

Abstract

Actuarial senescence has been viewed for a long time as an inevitable and uniform process. However, the work on senescence has mainly focused on endotherms with deterministic growth and low regeneration capacity during the adult stage, leading to a strong taxonomic bias in the study of ageing. Recent studies have highlighted that senescence could indeed display highly variable trajectories that correlate with species life-history traits. Slow life histories and indeterminate growth seem to be associated with weak and late senescence. Furthermore, high regenerative abilities could lead to negligible senescence in ectotherms. However, demographic data for species that would allow testing of these hypotheses are scarce. Here, we investigated senescence patterns in ‘true salamanders’ from the western Palaearctic. Our results showed that salamanders have slow life histories and that they experience negligible senescence. This pattern was consistent at both intra- and interspecific levels, suggesting that the absence of senescence may be a phylogenetically conserved trait. The regenerative capacities of salamanders, in combination with other physiological and developmental features such as an indeterminate growth and a low metabolic rate, probably explain why these small ectotherms have lifespans similar to that of large endotherms and, in contrast with most amniotes, undergo negligible senescence. Our study seriously challenges the idea that senescence is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the tree of life.

Abstract

Actuarial senescence has been viewed for a long time as an inevitable and uniform process. However, the work on senescence has mainly focused on endotherms with deterministic growth and low regeneration capacity during the adult stage, leading to a strong taxonomic bias in the study of ageing. Recent studies have highlighted that senescence could indeed display highly variable trajectories that correlate with species life-history traits. Slow life histories and indeterminate growth seem to be associated with weak and late senescence. Furthermore, high regenerative abilities could lead to negligible senescence in ectotherms. However, demographic data for species that would allow testing of these hypotheses are scarce. Here, we investigated senescence patterns in ‘true salamanders’ from the western Palaearctic. Our results showed that salamanders have slow life histories and that they experience negligible senescence. This pattern was consistent at both intra- and interspecific levels, suggesting that the absence of senescence may be a phylogenetically conserved trait. The regenerative capacities of salamanders, in combination with other physiological and developmental features such as an indeterminate growth and a low metabolic rate, probably explain why these small ectotherms have lifespans similar to that of large endotherms and, in contrast with most amniotes, undergo negligible senescence. Our study seriously challenges the idea that senescence is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the tree of life.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Life Sciences > General Immunology and Microbiology
Physical Sciences > General Environmental Science
Life Sciences > General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:amphibian, salamander, senescence
Language:English
Date:28 August 2019
Deposited On:05 Sep 2019 11:09
Last Modified:26 Jan 2022 22:24
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
ISSN:0962-8452
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1498

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